This year there was a major rule change – for the first time we supplied our own weft fleece and drum carders were allowed. This may seem like a minor change, but it made a huge difference. For the first time we could plan our shawl to include weft colours! This is the shawl that Ngaire and I planned and warped, the group chose to dye our corriedale handspun warp in gradations of red to yellow and we layed it in the warp randomly. We used natural brown romney lamb for the weft and we chose to do huck lace circles on six shafts.
There were only three teams of 6 this year, but the competition was fierce. The teams are made up of one weaver, one plyer and four spinners. Each team comes with their looms completely warped and over the course of four hours we spin, ply, weave and wet finish a 60” long shawl.Much to our delight our team came in 1st with a score of 290 out of 300! We got full marks for everything, with a small deduction for selvedge mousing. There are only four of us in this photo as two members had to leave before judging. Right to left are Chris MacKenzie (spinner), Ngaire (weaver), Brenda Howe (plyer and drum carder) and me (spinner) with our blue ribbon! Missing from this photo is Kirsti Jarret and Susan Garvie both spinners.The Monashee Spinners and Weavers (my other spinning group!) had a stunning shawl in turned Atwater-Bronson lace in blocks of greyed red to yellow.The Shuswap Spinners and Weavers shawl was going to be wonderful, but alas, they did not get if off the loom in time. A complicated twill pattern in black and apricot.
Do you see something of a theme here? Yup, unknowingly we all chose the same colours! Something about fall makes one think of gold, orange and red doesn’t it?I just finished this shrug in a soft pink handspun wool for Ngaire. I love this pattern and this is the second time I’ve knit it.
There is something about the lace areas that make handspun yarn look great. Remember I used 2 foot of rigid insulation for blocking my weaving, this is a great use of the remaining 4 foot length!
Here are a few more photos of the Shuswap Weavers and Spinners display. The mauve shawl is in very fine wool and is double weave blocks, by master weaver Gudrun Weisinger.